Number of Dutch primary school students continues 7 year decrease

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The number of primary school pupils in the Netherlands has been shrinking for the past seven years, and that decrease will only continue, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. In the year 2023 the Netherlands will have around 1.4 million primary school students, a decrease of 74 thousand or 5 percent compared to now.

While many areas are seeing fewer and fewer kids in primary schools, this is not true for the four large Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Statistics Netherlands expects that the number of primary school kids in these cities will actually increase by about 24 thousand in the next six years, an increase of 12 percent.

Statistics Netherlands predicts that the biggest decreases in primary school pupils will happen in Limburg, Groningen, Friesland, Achterhoek and Twente. "Most regions where the number of children declined over the past five years, are also expected to face a continuing decline in the number of 4 to 12 year olds in the next five years", the stats office writes. The decline can be attributed to the aging population in these regions, which means that fewer children are born.

The shrinking number of primary school aged children means that a number of schools are closing. In the past school year, there were 6,584 primary schools in the Netherlands, 382 less than four years ago. Groningen and Zeeland saw the most schools close, relative to popu

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